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Drink of the Week: Tidal Creek Brewhouse's Grand Strand West Coast IPA

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6.5 percent ABV. $3.99 for a 16 oz. can at Craft and Draft.

Lately it seems that folks are talking about the first thing they’ll do when the pandemic is “over.” (And some people are just going ahead and not changing their habits at all, but that’s a different column.)

I think that first thing on my list will be getting back to making little day trips to other towns in the state to visit new breweries and brewpubs.

South Carolina was having a certified brewery boom before last year, so I still have plenty on my list to catch up on. Tidal Creek Brewhouse in Myrtle Beach jumped up the list when I picked up some of their cans at Craft and Draft this weekend.

The Grand Strand West Coast IPA is one of those simple solid beers that hints that there’s likely other great things going on in the brewery's tanks. It’s got a bright bite of pine throughout and some nice oaky notes to balance it out. The fruity finish is exactly what you want from a West Coast IPA.

Tidal Creek's head brewer, Patrick Gibson, most recently was on the award-winning brew team of California’s Figueroa Mountain Brewing, so the deft touch with a left-coast staple isn't surprising.

I snagged their Breezy Blonde Ale as well, which showed a similar command of the style. For having only opened last summer, it’s definitely a good sign to see these kind of hallmarks rolling out at this level of quality. The brewery does more, too, brewing coffee and serving breakfast and lunch.

It all adds up to a prime candidate for a day trip — hopefully sometime soon. 

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